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  1. Życie to podróż. Dlatego, drogie dzieci, czytajcie jak najwięcej, żeby jak najmniej dostać w trakcie tej podróży po dupie.

  2. Spiró könyve nehéz. Nem mintha nem lenne kellően olvasmányos (az!), de mégiscsak 770 sűrűn telerótt oldal, nem éppen bibliapapírra nyomott, kemény táblás, sokkilós alkotás. Buszon, villamoson, trolin állva, kapaszkodás közben olvasni esélytelen. Mindez érthető, elvégre Spiró egy teljes emberélet történéseit, sőt azon is túl - egy kedves ismerősöm szavait idézve - "a gyűlölet születésének" kortól független univerzáléit sűrítette egyetlen regény keretei [...]

  3. At 860 pages of densely packed text, Captivity is a hefty read, but one that pays out richly. It is at once a Bildungsroman that gives a deeply personal narration of the life of Gauis Theodorus (known mainly by his Jewish name Uri), a Roman Jew who lives through the upheaval of the Roman Empire in the first century, and a grand historical novel featuring all of the great figures of that era, from Caligula, Claudius and Philo of Alexandria to Jesus Christ himself.The seamless interplay between Ur [...]

  4. this thing :: it's on its way I hear. Time to start up the ole schoppenkart, no?_________Yes. It is being Englished. But his other one, Kingfisher, would've been the prefer'd?theuntranslated.wordpress

  5. "All The Chains We Cannot See" is the title I'm thankful wasn't used. So, thank you Mr. Spiro for respecting your readers and selecting just one word instead of an "oh-so-important-I-must-be-read" telegraph. I found most of this fascinating but parts of this felt a bit dry, as if too much historical research was left within the book. UPDATE: In hindsight, this felt like a James Michener novel, but in a good way, like "Hawaii", which I felt was Michener's best.

  6. What a fantastic read! This novel is dense and complex, and at times difficult to read but in spite of that, or perhaps in part because of it, it is also a fantastic piece of literature. Following the story of a young Jewish boy named Uri, who leaves his home in Ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Tiberus, and heads on a journey to Jerusalem and from there all around the Mediterranean before returning to Rome during the revolt of the Alexandrian Jews, this novel is more than a coming of age [...]

  7. My review appears in New York Journal of Books. Read that review first. Additional remarks that appeared in a different and now defunct publication begin with the next paragraph.Jewish books: Gyorgy Spiro's Captivity portrays First Century Roman JewryWas there ever an era like the current one when Jews simultaneously participated in their own and a global culture both in the land where their people and civilization originated and in a large diaspora? There was indeed in the Roman Empire during t [...]

  8. Capitivity is a beast of a book. I think the publisher did it a disservice by selling it as "The Life of Brian" meets "I, Claudius" because it's not a humorous book. It's an extremely immersive story of early Imperial Rome, seen through the eyes of a remarkable Jew. The first half of the book is surprisingly devoid of strong plot movement. It's almost like a sandbox RPG where we're just wandering aimlessly around Rome, Judea and Alexandria in the most meticulous detail imaginable. What I didn't [...]

  9. One of three Editor's picks from WLT's Book Review editor Rob Vollmar. Read his thoughts on all three at worldliteraturetoday/2Also reviewed in May/Aug 2016 issue -"Winner of Hungary’s 2006 Aegon Literary Award, this Rabelaisian saga recounts the Job-like sufferings of the apparently feckless, lovelorn, often sex-starved Uriel, a Jewish citizen of Julio-Claudian Rome. György Spiró’s extensive research renders Captivity a powerful time machine, but his strategies shape a historiographic met [...]

  10. Másodjára olvasom a megjelenése óta, és lenyűgöz a regény, még ha (vagy épp azért), mert szívem szerint sokszor vitatkoznék a szerzővel. Épp ahogy Kainisz mondja Urinak, amikor, már öregen, találkozik a szerelmével, egy egymástól távol, külön leélt élet végén: "Szoktam veled beszélgetni képzeletben és te szépen válaszolgatsz gúnyolódsz, csipkelődsz" Ajánlom a szerzővel három éve készült interjút: origo/kultura/20090525-Egy kritikusa azt írta, hogy ez a [...]

  11. At times difficult to work through for a couple of reasons, but in the end a very rewarding read. The difficulties were some of the historical trivia. While fascinating in places (the descriptions of the tithes and taxes that the villages in Judea paid and how), they overwhelmed my reading of the "story" in other places (the architecture and layout of Caesarea). All the same, it was for the most part an interesting read and to my (somewhat limited) historical knowledge, a reasonably accurate des [...]

  12. Amazing work. I have gifted this book to my dearest and closest friends who are history buffs. The author takes us back to the first century C.E. and brings Rome, Jerusalem and Alexandria to life. Along the way we get to know Pilate, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Philo, Appolos and the historical Jesus.For the most part I am not knowledgeable enough to judge how accurate his knowledge of pre-Rabbinic Judaism and Philo's ideas are. The highest compliment that I can pay him is the author has arous [...]

  13. This is an incredible book. The protagonist Uri lives through much of the hectic first century CE in Rome, Judea and Alexandria as Jews are murdered everywhere in the Roman Empire and the Nazarene sect grows. Spiró's knowledge and keen observation of the history and the real historical characters who appear in the book as we know them in history and his uncanny ability to describe every day tasks in minute detail is fascinating. It is a very long book and heavy reading, but the picture of the w [...]

  14. An incredible book - the setting: prior to the destruction of the 2nd temple, an ordinary Jew - Uri (the main character), travels from Rome to Judea and Jerusalem and then to Alexandria. The first half of the book is about Jewish society in these locations - food, community, prayers, etc. and the relationship with the Romans. The next part is about pogroms and large scale slaughter of Jews and ends with the destruction of the 2nd Beis Hamikdash.

  15. Egy zseniális könyvk mindent lehetne írni róla, de egyik sem adja vissza csak, ha elolvassa az ember akkor érti meg és érzi át. A közel nyolcszáz oldal nem kevés, mégis egyre jobban belemerülve hajlamos az ember úgy érezni hihetetlenül rövid és mikor elolvasta kezdené elölről.

  16. Extremely detailed and long detailing situation in Rome and Israel from the point of semi-blind boy on a delegation to from Rome to Israel.

  17. Amazing level of detail -- so much I did not know about Jewish life in Rome, Alexandria, Judea. Thanks to Tim Wilkinson for translating this.

  18. “Stars twinkle as they struggle in the captivity of their stellar existence. Nothing is able to be anything but what it is.”Captivity tells the story of Uri, a Jew living in the Roman Empire in the First Century A.D as he experiences, from the bottom, the tumultuous events of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Uri’s adventures take him across the full breadth of Roman society, and across much of the empire itself, as he finds ways to ruin his fortune over and over. Zelig-like, he also interacts p [...]

  19. I just cannot fathom why anyone liked this book. I admit I know very little about ancient history but generally I am a big fan of historical novels, no matter where and when they take place, as long as they are well written with sympathetic or interesting characters. A plot is less important, which is good since this book had absolutely zero plot. Not to mention terribly written (or at least badly translated or edited, I'm not sure which as my ebook would have some sentences with no verb and oth [...]

  20. _Captivity_ resonates. Along the way, it brings to life each piece of the ancient world, making each leap to life. But, finally, the echoes the book leaves me with aren't from those windows into particular places and how they differed, no matter how fascinating that is. Instead, the pattern beneath is what lingers. Every place visited (like every ruler met) starts out inspiring (or tries to), with the sickness, corruption, violence and cruelty beneath only working its way to the surface over tim [...]

  21. This is an old fashion historical novel, with a Jewish touch. It's an enjoyable read, even if a little too long some times. Lots of information about the Jewish thinking and debating skills, which is interesting and one of the novel's biggest assets. Also interesting the way the Holocaust is alluded at from the Alexandria "bane". But for a such well researched book - regarding stuff from agricultural to building techniques - it's a little annoying to spot some obvious factual errors, like tastin [...]

  22. One of the best Hungarian novels I have ever read. It is very long, but never boring. The main character is a boy (Uri), the novel follows his life in the first century A.C. It provides a fantastic description of the everyday life of the Roman empire, the life of Jews, politics and economics of the era. It is written with a great humour. A must-read.

  23. A great historical novel about one of the most fascinating periods in world history. Essentially it's the story of the Forrest Gump of 1st century Jewish Rome who gets to meet all the greatest Roman & Jewish leaders of the period, including Jesus himself and participate in many important historical events.The first question about books like these is how good is the story. Despite being a bit too long, Spiro managed to keep me interested to the last page.The second question is how accurate is [...]

  24. The first 75% was fun, if not really revelatory, or what I had expected. Actually, it reminded me of Forrest Gump, with a naive and socially isolated protagonist wheeling through great historical events and meeting now-famous people. Spiró works to bring places to life: the crowded slums of Rome's Far Side; the network of rural villages in Judea; the electric multicultural intellectual hubbub of Alexandria. Spiró makes all of this spring into the imagination, along with the day to day ritual a [...]

  25. I'm lying. I didn't finish reading Captivity yet, and I may not. After 430 pages or so, I just can't continue at this time. I stopped and took a look at what the 5-star reviewers see in the book because I figured that I must be missing something, but apparently they adore exactly that with which I am struggling. When Christ (I'm assuming that guy was Christ, anyway) made a cameo appearance, I thought maybe things were going to pick up, but nope, the crucifixion is mentioned in a casual aside by [...]

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